It has been a volatile few weeks for Michelle MacDonald. Less than three weeks ago, MacDonald announced she had applied for a vacancy on the Minnesota Supreme Court, created by the upcoming retirement of Associate Justice Alan C. Page.
Fast forward to yesterday, and the Lakeville police department said MacDonald is considered one of at least four persons of interest in the disappearance of two sisters from Lakeville.
MacDonald is the attorney for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, the mother of Samantha and Gianna Rucki, who both disappeared on April 19, 2013, when they ran away from their home in Lakeville.
Grazzini-Rucki denies knowing where her missing daughters are located or being involved with their disappearance.
Dale Nathan told the Star Tribune that he was a passenger in a car driven by Grazzini-Rucki on the day Samantha and Gianna went missing. Nathan said the two sisters ran to the waiting car and he rode around for hours with Grazzini-Rucki and her daughters. Nathan said Grazzini-Rucki later dropped him off at a truck stop in Northfield and he was picked up by MIchael Rhedin, a Hennepin County corrections officer.
Lakeville police want to speak with Grazzini-Rucki, Rhedin, Nathan, and MacDonald about the missing sisters, but have encountered resistance.
Grazzini-Rucki told the Star Tribune a court order prohibts her from speaking with police about her missing daughters. In an interview last week MacDonald confirmed, as first reported by Brandon Stahl, that no court order prevents Grazzini-Rucki from speaking with police about her missing daughters.
Asked if MacDonald and Grazzini-Rucki would cooperate with Lakeville police in finding the two girls, MacDonald said "of course we would be helpful."
The Star Tribune reported yesterday Lakeville police have contacted MacDonald to speak with Grazzini-Rucki, but MacDonald's attorney Stephen Grigsby contacted Lakeville police and "provided little information."
Last evening, Grigsby said he did not know if MacDonad had spoken with police about the missing girls. Grigsby added he would advise MacDonald "not to say a word" to police since she now publicly been labeled as a person of interest in the disappearence of the missing Lakeville sisters.
"The moment [police] say 'person of interest' they are esentially targeting a person for a criminal investigation," said Grigsby.
For MacDonald, who was the 2014 Republican endorsed candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court, she continues to advocate for reforming the judicial system. MacDonald has traveled to Washington, D.C. and will not return to Minnesota until next week, according to a person who answered the phone at MacDonald's law firm.
Over the next few days, MacDonald is schedule to appear at events in front of the White House and United States Supreme Court Building. Back in Minnesota, the Lakeville police department will be focused on justice, as they continue to search for Samantha and Gianna Rucki, both missing for over two years.
Picture source: Star Tribune, Michelle MacDonald for Minnesota Supreme Court